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Print Communication Design Short Course

Course description

From prestige books to corporate brochures, customer magazines and leaflets, to fashion catalogues and branded print campaigns (advertisements, posters, etc.), the same design principles of visual communicationtypography, layout composition, image-making, editorial design and art direction (of photography and illustration)apply.

In this practice-based course, you will learn how to construct and style your print design and/or publication, using principally Adobe CC Software: InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop.

The focus of the course will not however be solely technical, but will aim to develop your design sensitivity and knowledge of best practice in editorial design, typographic layout, strong image-making and art direction.

Ultimately, the course aspires to enlighten and inform students to plan, design and produce powerful content and messages through the combinations of the printed word and image, and to design engaging printed communication and media with an audience in mind.

Course outcomes

By the end of this course you will have:

  • Created a print communication design for yourself, or your personal business
  • Acquired a clear understanding about the whole process of graphic design as applied to print design (brochures, catalogues, books, posters, etc.)
  • Learnt the visual principles behind successful and powerful layout and composition that are communicative to their target audience and effective in engaging them.
  • Developed sensitivity and knowledge of effective use of typography and art direction in print communication
  • Learnt about preparing press-ready final artwork for printers
  • Gained a good understanding of print production professional processes
  • Learnt about adding creativity with special print techniques, finishes and binding

Who should take this course?

Beginners/Intermediate, all welcome. Anyone interested in graphic design and the production of high professional standard printed communication outcomes. Graphic design students, BA and/or MA graduates, junior designers wishing to improve their print design skills, marketing professionals wanting to learn more about the creative design process, business start-ups wishing to produce promotional materials, any type of design students or junior professionals.

Level: All levels welcome

Entry requirements

A creative and open mind. Basic knowledge of Mac and Adobe Creative Cloud software especially Adobe InDesign, and to a lesser extent Adobe Photoshop, is required. Basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator is also useful but not absolutely essential. Basic knowledge of Adobe CC is sufficient as basic operative functions will be taught in-class and one-to-one (if required).

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Clear, easy to understand lessons:

  • Our tutors will explain things in easy to understand, accessible English. If they need to use any special terminology they will make sure they explain what they mean.
  • New methods will be shown to students through live demonstrations, in a way thats crystal clear and easy to understand.
  • Experience life on campus
  • Network and share ideas with students from across the globe
  • Access the technology and materials relevant to your discipline
  • Shop in our college shops for any materials you might need
  • Ask questions of your tutor in real time
  • Receive feedback and critique on your assignments
  • Experience the many sights of London on your down time

A certificate of completion:

  • You've put the work in so we want to make sure you have something to show for it!
  • As long as you attend a minimum of 80% of your classes, we will provide you with a certificate of attendance.
  • We always recommend you attend all of the classes so that you get the most out of the experience!
  • Certificates are great to compliment your cv.

Available dates

If no dates are showing then please sign up to our mailing list to find out about upcoming dates and new course developments.


Topics covered

  • Basics of typography
  • Visual principles of layout design
  • Visual hierarchies, typographical hierarchies, grids
  • Typographic detailing
  • Basic elements in editorial design
  • Art direction of photography and illustration
  • Building narratives through photography and/or illustration
  • Exploring type, form, colour, composition, style and imagery, to express a visual tone of voice relevant to a specific audience: i.e. luxurious, trendy, dynamic, classical, etc.
  • Planning and sequencing content in publications
  • Print production process and techniques: scanning, colour conversion, imposition
  • Preparing final artworks for professional printing
  • Choosing and specifying: paper, card, colour and materials specifications
  • Basic print techniques, special print finishes and binding
  • Special print techniques (e.g. special Pantone inks), special print finishes (e.g. types of varnishes) and binding (types of binding)
  • Print management: design and production phases, scheduling, liaising with printers


Please bring the following with you to the first session:

  • Pen
  • Pencil
  • Rubber
  • Sketchbook or notebook
  • USB stick

A laptop is recommended but not compulsory

IMPORTANT - Adobe ID Login for Short Course Students

Students will need to create an account with Adobe (unless you already have one) in order to access the Adobe suite at the college – instructions are included below. You will need to use a personal email address to create this. If you already have an account with Adobe, please make sure you bring your login details with you on the first day of the course.

Please note:

  • Creating an Adobe account is free.
  • The software will only be accessible when logged into a UAL networked computer
  • The same account can be used outside of the University, but software will only be accessible through a personal paid subscription that students will need to set up independently
  • You can still create an account on the day but doing this beforehand will save time and avoid delays to the start of the class.
  • If you already have an Adobe ID/ subscription you can use this on your short course rather than setting up a new account.

To create an account students will need to:

  • Go to Adobe Sign in page.
  • Select 'Create an account'
  • Enter your details and select 'Create an account'
  • Meet the Tutor:

    This course aims to teach all the creative and technical steps for the creation of beautiful print communication and/or editorial designs.

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